Parliamentary Democracy in Japan

With the Liberal Democratic Party’s strong performance in the House of Councillors election in July this year, the political stage seems set for a period of stability that could last up to three years, barring dissolution of the House of Representatives. During the period up to the next general election, to be held no later than December 2016, Prime Minister Abe Shinzō will aim to maintain a solid grip on the tiller. But do Japan’s parliamentary systems pose any threats to this stability?

The Quest for Voting Equality in JapanMasunaga Hidetoshi

Under Japan’s existing electoral system, the value of a single vote varies considerably depending on the district where it is cast. Lawyer Masunaga Hidetoshi argues that Japan will become a true democracy only when these disparities are corrected.

Japan in Pursuit of Westminster DemocracyTakenaka Harukata

Since the 1990s Japan has undertaken a raft of political reforms designed to foster more efficient and effective government. Takenaka Harukata assesses the outcome of these institutional changes, the lingering obstacles to majoritarian democracy in Japan, and the implications for policymaking under the second Abe cabinet.

Why Do Japan and Italy Change Prime Ministers So Often?Ikeya Tomoaki

In the 1990s both Italy and Japan introduced single-seat constituencies to their electoral systems in an attempt to encourage two-party politics. Since then both have had frequent changes of prime minister. Political scientist Ikeya Tomoaki examines the similarities and differences in the workings of the two countries’ political systems.

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